Towards the end of the year, Wenhua No. 1 High School was bombarded with tests one after another. An English quiz made most of Class 1 sluggish. The English class representative Jin Jing walked in with the papers of the whole class, knocked on the podium and said: “Wake up. Wake up and don’t sleep, the papers are about to be sent out. Teacher Bi said this time the papers are doing poorly. There will definitely be a fire in class later.”
The students bemoaned the devilish speed of Bi Aoxue’s grading and a boy shouted to Jin Jing: “Class representative, why do I feel like you’re still happy? Did you get a high score on the exam?”
Jin Jing smiled and scolded the boy with a few words. Bi Chengfei suddenly appeared on the podium and raised his hand and said loudly, “Isn’t this a happy event? Big news! This Sunday night, the grand private room 225, the birthday party of the beautiful Jin Jing. Everyone must come ah! I will also go!”
The class started cheering and in uproar. Jin Jing hit Bi Chengfei on the head with the papers and scolded, “Who said you are going to be invited!”
Tao Xi knew about this. Just now, Jin Jing gave him a homemade invitation specifically. He looked at Lin Qinhe who was on the side and asked, “Will you be there?”
Lin Qinhe confiscated the invitation with a heart drawn on it and said, “I’m going to grandpa’s house on Sunday night.” Even if he didn’t go to his old home for the family dinner, he usually wouldn’t go.
“Are you going?” Lin Qinhe asked Tao Xi.
Tao Xi hesitated for a while, and said, “I should go.”
When Jin Jing gave him the invitation, she also apologized to him for Jiang Xinyun’s incident a long time ago, but Tao Xi didn’t think Jin Jing had done anything wrong. Jin Jing even spoke for him at that time.
“Then I will pick you up when the matter is over,” Lin Qinhe said.
Tao Xi’s eyes lit up and he nodded: “Okay! I’ll wait for you!”
On Sunday night, Tao Xi took the bus twice according to the address given by Jin Jing before arriving at the grand club with a high level of consumption. Under the guidance of the waiter, he walked in. The colorful lights and the faint crying and wolf-like singing from the private room made him a little uncomfortable.
Tao Xi knew that this was a big KTV. He had never been there and did not like singing very much. He was thinking about finding some reason to leave early when he met an unexpected person halfway through.
“Tao Xi?” Guan Fanyun was wearing a low-cut short skirt studded with gold sequins, with heavy make-up on her face. Holding a slender lady’s cigarette in her hand, she asked with a smile, “Come to our party?”
Tao Xi didn’t expect that this woman would recognize him by virtue of his once-in-a-lifetime exhibition. He vaguely remembered that Guan Fanyun had sent an invitation to the party in the WeChat group of the Qinghua Painting Association a few days ago.
He said, “No, I have a classmate’s birthday party here.”
Guan Fanyun smiled and said, “I wish you a good time. Our party is in the private room 334.” She took a puff of her cigarette, came closer and said, “I have a lot of friends who have studied overseas, a few of them are here today. Maybe you can meet them later.”
Tao Xi tilted his head slightly to avoid the smoke from Guan Fanyun. The sweet and greasy smell made him frown.
He found Guan Fanyun’s sudden enthusiasm a bit baffling and said in a detached tone, “Thank you, but my classmate’s birthday party is about to start, so I have to go there first.”
Guan Fanyun smiled and said, “It’s okay. If you think the birthday party is boring, you can come and play with us.”
After saying goodbye to Guan Fan Yun, Tao Xi went to the bathroom and washed his face to make sure he didn’t smell like smoke before stepping on the soft carpet and walking towards the private room.
He remembered Guan Fanyun who was next to Yang Zhengming at the exhibition last time. She was dressed in a white dress with light makeup and was different from today. He thought of Fang Sui’s painting, she was also wearing white dress.
He pulled the corners of his mouth and smiled, pushing open the door of the 225 room. Bi Chengfei was holding the standing microphone and singing “Say I Love You” loudly towards Jin Jing in the middle of the sofa.
When Bi Chengfei saw Tao Xi coming in, he stopped singing and shouted, “Xi ge!”
There was a lot of space in the private room. Tao Xi found that most of the classmates had come and even Huang Qing had come. He saw Jin Jing showing a somewhat disappointed look after he entered the door, but she still quickly got up to greet him and said sincerely: “Tao Xi, thank you for coming. Have fun tonight.”
Tao Xi handed the gift in his hand to Jin Jing and said “Happy Birthday” with a smile.
He greeted other classmates and found an empty seat in the corner of the sofa. Next to him was Huang Qing, who was answering questions on her phone. When she saw him sitting down, she asked, “Did Lin Qinhe come with you?”
Tao Xi was stunned, shook his head and said, “He has something tonight.”
Huang Qing seemed to breathe a sigh of relief, and continued to answer the questions.
The table was full of beer and drinks, the soft pack walls were flashing with multicolored spots of light. After someone ordered a brainwashing song1basically a catchy song that easily stuck in your head, some people in the class who were usually active were rushing to grab the microphone to sing like crazy. Suddenly, the crowd of demons danced so dazzlingly that their eardrums would burst.
Tao Xi clicked on WeChat in the corner and looked up the party invitation letter sent by Guan Fanyun in the WeChat group of the Qinghua Painting Association. He found that the address above was not here.
He thought about it for a while, then clicked on Ding Yannan’s WeChat and asked her about the party.
Ding Yanan quickly replied with a message: “The association’s formal parties are organized by the president. Vice President Guan has a few friends in the association who play well together and often organize private parties, but we usually don’t attend.”
Tao Xi noticed the cryptic meaning in Ding Yanan’s words. He thought about it, and told her about his encounter with Guan Fanyun.
Ding Yanan replied: “You’d better not go. How should I say, the Qinghua Painting Association is actually a bit mixed up, you’re still a high school student, there’s no need to make those friends”
Tao Xi replied a few words of thanks, and looked at the chat log thoughtfully.
Halfway through, he got up and went to the bathroom. When he came out of the bathroom, he saw two familiar figures walking by the corner of the corridor and heard a female voice saying: “Ancestor, I don’t have much money to lend you.”
Tao Xi quickly returned to the bathroom, washed his hands again, and walked out after drying his hands with a paper towel.
The carpet in the corridor was very thick and soft, so there was no sound when walking on it. Tao Xi followed the corridor where the two people had just walked, and after turning a corner, he found that there was only one security door at the end of this corridor. There should be an emergency passage outside the door.
He breathed lightly and walked gently to the exit door, which was ajar, and human voices faintly came from inside.
Guan Fanyun had already smoked the cigarette just now, and she changed it to the same one. Spitting out a puff of smoke, she walked a few steps back and forth and sighed to the boy in front of her:
“Ancestor, my party address has been changed here specifically for you, and I also invited that kid, so what do you want me to do?”
There was only a dim white light in the emergency exit. Yang Duole looked up, his eyes were dim in the light and shadow, and he said
“Didn’t I tell you? Please help me teach him a lesson.” He said it politely, and his expression was one of asking for help. He smiled and continued, “After all, aren’t you the best at this kind of thing?”
Guan Fanyun bit her cigarette and stared at Yang Zhengming’s son, her face turned ugly for a moment.
Her past history was indeed not glamorous. Although her father Guan Shuwen was a famous calligrapher in the literary and art world, she was just an illegitimate daughter with a bad name and did not receive any artistic influence before the age of sixteen.
“What’s your problem with that kid? As for asking me to help you teach him a lesson?” Guan Fanyun breathed out a puff of cigarette, a little annoyed in her heart, not really wanting to get involved in these high school kids’ affairs.
Yang Duole’s face sank and said, “It’s none of your business.”
“Does your father know you’re like this? He always said you were a good boy.” Guan Fanyun laughed lightly. If she could successfully marry Yang Zhengming, Yang Duole might have to call her mom in the future. It made her feel a little funny.
Yang Duole raised his eyes to Guan Fanyun and said with a smile: “You certainly won’t let him know.”
“All right. Fortunately you said that kid has no background, otherwise I’m really afraid of trouble.”
Guan Fanyun twisted the cigarette in her hand on the white wall and put it out.
When Tao Xi returned to the private room, the mic-crazy Bi Chengfei had already changed the song, singing “To Love even in Death” to Jin Jing, and the tone-deaf throat made Jin Jing keep rolling her eyes
He went back to his seat and sat down, and saw Huang Qing was still bowing her head, doing the questions.
Not long after sitting, the private room door was opened again.
“Yakult! Why are you so late!” Li Xiaoyuan was holding the microphone and singing and when he saw Yang Duole come in, he directly spoke to Yang Duole with the microphone.
Tao Xi looked up and saw Yang Duole holding a box of exquisitely wrapped gifts.
“There has been a traffic jam on the road for too long. I dashed up when I got out of the car just now. I’m still gasping for breath.”
Yang Duole said with a smile to Li Xiaoyuan. After giving the gift to Jin Jing, he looked around the sofa and walked towards the empty space in the corner.
Tao Xi saw Yang Duole approaching and asked him with a smile, “Tao Xi, can I sit next to you?
The look and tone of voice even had a little intimacy.
Tao Xi moved to the side and nodded, “Sure.”
Yang Duole said “Thank you” and then sat down. There was a sweet and greasy smell of smoke on his body that had not had time to disperse. He watched Li Xiaoyuan and the others sing, smiled and applauded, seemed to be very happy.
Tao Xi saw an unopened pack of cigarettes under the coffee table. Perhaps the last guests accidentally dropped it here and it was not cleaned up. He took out the pack of cigarettes, took out one after unpacking and handed it to Yang Duole before raising his eyes and asked him:
“Do you smoke?”
Yang Duole frowned, looked a little weird, and shook his head: “I never smoke.”
Tao Xi smiled, put the cigarette back into the box and said, “I don’t smoke either.”
He tossed the cigarette back under the coffee table and leaned back on the soft sofa, watching Li Xiaoyuan invite Yang Duole up to sing.
- 1basically a catchy song that easily stuck in your head